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The Song of Love and Death of Standard-Bearer Christoph Rilke [Cornet Christoph Rilke]
New York, 1953 The Song of Love and Death of Standard-Bearer Christoph Rilke [Cornet Christoph Rilke]. Translation of Emlen Etting, with his original illustrations. Typed manuscript, title page + 28 pp., dated 1953, with pencil ms. emendations and six original erotic ink and water-color illustrations by noted painter Emlen Etting, signed. The ms. is typed on standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper, while the water-color illustrations are on the verso of blank letterhead of the Philadelphia chapter of the Artists Equity Association [of which Etting was at the time Chairman], that paper being watermarked parchment stationery. An unpublished translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's prose poem (1899) of war, love, and sex, and the surreal but heroic death of Christoph Rilke in the seventeenth century, accompanied by what would have been its erotic illustrations. Slumbering nudes, mortally wounded heroes in the buff, and love-making couples appear to be thematically revised as proofs. The original manila envelope in which all this was contained is included, addressed from Etting at his Philadelphia address to himself in care of Midtown Galleries in New York City, and says, in part, "6 Preparatory Sketches for 'Lovers' / Rilke's Song of Love and Death of the Standard-Bearer". Rilke's singular prose poem, published as part of other titles but (apparently) never separately, was, by the name Cornet Christoph Rilke's Song of Love and Death (and other variants), the basis of an opera by Siegfried Matthus, a symphony by Viktor Ullmann, and other artistic treatments. Etting's translation here carries, alternately and sometimes together, stark, surreal, dreamlike, melodic and poetic tone, presumably true to the Rilke original, the reading of which in its original language I am incapable. In any case, here it is deeply and strangely moving in its own right. I found myself reading it aloud, as if it were a play. Title sheet of manuscript slightly torn at top (see scan); some see- through from verso of the water-colors. Overall better than very good. Not bound. LG-1
      [Bookseller: Singularity Rare & Fine]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    

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